American College of Coverage Counsel 7th Annual Meeting

** This meeting is open to American College of Coverage Counsel Fellows only. **

** Note: Neither American College of Coverage Counsel staff or the conference hotel will contact you to make your hotel reservations.**

Annual Conference Co-chairs:

Linda Bondi Morrison
J. James Cooper
Vice Chairs:
Angela Elbert
Robert Kole

Wednesday, May 8 - Friday, May 10

Click here for conference papers, presentations, and speaker bios.

Venue Information

Chicago Athletic Association
12 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603

We have secured a group rate for sleeping rooms of $279/night, plus tax & Founders Fee (e.g., resort fee). The group rate expires on April 16, 2019. You can click here to book in our block or call the venue at 844-312-2221 (use code 1905ACCEC). There are no rooms available at the group rate for the night of May 7. 

Check in is 3:00 pm. Check out is 12:00 pm.

Valet parking is available at the 71 East Madison entrance. Overnight parking is $69 with in-and-out privileges. 

Click here to register


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

6:30 – 8:00 pm
Welcome Reception, Sponsored by KCIC

Thursday, May 9, 2019
**Sessions are in Madison Ballroom**

7:30 – 8:30 am
**White City Ballroom**
Breakfast Buffet

8:30 – 8:45 am
Welcome Remarks 

  • Mary McCutcheon, Farella Braun & Martell LLP; ACCC President
  • Jim Cooper, Reed Smith LLP, 2019 Annual Meeting C0-Chair
  • Linda Bondi Morrison, Tressler LLP, 2019 Annual Meeting Co-Chair

8:45 am – 9:30 pm         
Emerging Liability & Coverage Issues Arising from the #MeToo Movement

  • Nancy Adams, Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo PC
  • Jim Murray, Blank Rome LLP
  • Rebecca Weinreich, Lewis Brisbois

The statutes of limitations for sexual abuse claims are being extended, allowing decades old claims under policies, many of which have been lost or destroyed. These “new” claims against the entities - not the perpetrators - are raising novel coverage issues. In addition, the #MeToo movement continues to spotlight public accusations of public figures. What do these public accusations mean for coverage of claims brought by accusers and the accused?

9:30 am – 10:15 am
Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg: Ensuing Loss Theory, Debate and Answers or What the Cluck is Covered After All

  • Rick Hammond, HeplerBroom, LLC
  • Tracy Alan Saxe, Saxe Doernberger & Vita
  • Hugh Lumpkin, Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin (moderator)

This presentation addresses an issue with broad coverage implications for insurer and policyholder alike – what is a covered ensuing loss, when the peril setting other events in motion and ultimately causing harm is itself excluded from coverage. The panel and papers presented will analyze and discuss the tests articulated by courts to ascertain coverage for ensuing loss under commercial property, builder’s risk and homeowner’s policies, bearing in mind the sharp disagreement reflected by court decisions interpreting insuring text. At bottom, if the chicken is itself excluded as a cause of loss, but the resulting egg breaks, under what circumstances should the insurer bear the cost of restoring the egg to its pre-loss condition?

10:15 am – 10:30 am

10:30 am – 11:20 am
You Gotta Have Faith! – Good Faith

  • Fred Cunningham, Domnick Cunningham & Whalen
  • Heather Sanderson, Sanderson Law
  • John Vishneski, Reed Smith LLP

The elusive good/bad faith line: (1) Liability clear and damages above limits: is tendering policy limits enough? (2) Can insurer refuse to hire experts to defend uninsured exposure? (3) Can insurer refuse to settle weak reputation-harming claims? (4) Defending two insureds: can insurer pay a limits settlement for one?

11:20 am – 12:05 pm
The Meaning of Plain Meaning

  • Lorelie Masters, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
  • Jeff Stempel, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Jeffrey Thomas, University of Missouri - Kansas City

What is “plain meaning”? It appears, like pornography, that many simply “know it when they see it.” This panel will consider the meaning of plain meaning using current insurance law doctrine; the Restatement of Law, Liability Insurance; and linguistics, including Corpus Linguistics.

12:05 – 1:05 pm     Lunch & Annual Business Meeting
**White City Ballroom**

1:05 pm – 1:30 pm
Extended Work Break

1:10 pm – 1:30 pm
Special Feature: Small group tours of the Chicago Athletic Association

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
The Art of Negotiation & Mediation: Are There Ethics in Poker?

  • John Bonnie, Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial
  • Neil Posner, Much Shelist, P.C.
  • Clifford Shapiro, Barnes & Thornburg LLP

At one time, a lawyer’s role was to “zealously” advocate, which was often interpreted to allow action at any cost. The notion of the “zealous advocate” was incorporated into the ABA’s 1969 Model Code of Professional Responsibility. That all changed in 1983 with the ABA’s adoption of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which removed the term “zealous advocate” and gave us a system of rules that tell lawyers what we “shall” do, what we “shall not” do, and what we “may” do. This program will explore how far lawyers can and cannot go under the Model Rules in mediations, negotiations, and settlement conferences.

2:30 pm – 3:15 pm
Duty to Defend: The Eight-Corners Rule and Extrinsic Evidence (Does the Wording of the Policy Change the Rules?)

  • Mike Huddleston, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, PC
  • Jodi McDougal, Cozen O'Connor

This panel will examine the well-established rules governing the duty to defend and whether an insurer can contract around them, looking to recent changes to policy language regarding defense in CGL policies. The discussion will include consideration of whether the duty to defend is a creature of contract interpretation or controlled by extrinsic common law principles. For example, does the absence of “even if groundless, false or fraudulent” matter? Is the admissibility of extrinsic evidence to determine the duty to defend affected by policy language? Does it open the door to insurers submitting extrinsic evidence in jurisdictions that allow only the policyholder to trigger a duty with extrinsic evidence?

3:15 pm – 3:30 pm

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Allocation—Is That a Thing?—Navigating Disputes Over Allocation Between Covered and Uncovered Claims

  • Jim Bryan, Nexsen Pruet, PLLC
  • Suzan Charlton, Covington & Burling LLP
  • Frank Cordell, Gordon Tilden Thomas Cordell LLP
  • Michael Hamilton, Goldberg Segalla

Underlying lawsuits that include both covered and uncovered claims are a recurring source of conflict between insurers and policyholders. This panel will examine various policy forms addressing allocation, the trends in the case law, strategies for insurer and policyholder counsel, and litigation and non-litigation approaches to resolving allocation disputes.

 6:00 – 6:30 pm
New Fellows & First Time Attendees Reception

**White City Ballroom Foyer**

 6:30 – 7:30 pm 
General Reception

**White City Ballroom Foyer**

7:30 – 9:30 pm

  • Presentation of the Thomas F. Segalla Service Award 
  • Recognition of New Fellows
  • Recognition of winners of the Law School Practical Skills Writing Competition

Friday, May 10, 2019
**Sessions are in Madison Ballroom**

7:30 – 8:30 am
Breakfast Buffet
**White City Ballroom**

8:30 am –9:15 am
10 Cases in 45 Minutes

  • Robert Chesler, Anderson Kill, P.C.
  • Tony Leuin, Shartsis Friese LLP
  • Suzanne Midlige, Coughlin Duffy LLP

From asbestos, pollution and bitcoin to cyberbullying, cyber-insurance and computer fraud, courts around the country ruled on a wide variety of insurance topics in 2018. This panel will examine ten key decisions, including Continental v. Honeywell, KeySpan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Re, Astellas v. Starr, Liberty v. Ledesma, Talley v. Mustafa, and State Farm v. Motta. These cases resolved many novel issues that courts had not previously addressed.

9:15 am – 10:00 am
When Disaster Strikes: Coverage for Natural Disasters

  • Andrew Downs, Bullivant Houser Bailey PC
  • Susan Harwood, Kaplan Zeena LLP
  • John D. Shugrue, Reed Smith LLP

Natural catastrophes can happen anywhere in the country. From drought and wildfires, to tornadoes and hurricanes, to flooding and winter storms, the cost of natural disasters is rising. This panel will explore the lessons learned from the natural disasters of 2018, and the most effective arguments policyholders and insurers can make in connection with the claims that continue to arise from those events.

10:00 am – 10:15 am

10:15 am – 11:15 am
How Great Minds Can Differ: Policyholder, Primary and Excess Insurer Interests in Multi-State Litigation

  • Marion B. Adler, Adler Law Practice, LLC
  • Dominica Anderson, Duane Morris LLP
  • Doug McIntosh, McIntosh Sawran & Cartaya, P.A.
  • Marcus Snowden, Snowden Law P.C. (moderator)

The panel will discuss common conflicts and issues that arise between policyholder, primary and excess insurers, in a typical multi-state liability case. Topics to be addressed will include selection of primary defense counsel, use of coordinating counsel, decision making as to settlement and strategy, and disagreements among primary and excess insurers as to exhaustion of “occurrence” limits of the primary policy.

11:15 am – 12:00 pm
Alexa, Do I Have Coverage?

  • Mary Borja, Wiley Rein LLP
  • John Buchanan, Covington & Burling LLP
  • Leo Martinez, University of California Hastings College of Law

Technology has exploded the boundaries of risk for both policyholders and insurers. Hackers these days not only steal data and funds; they also attack networked devices and critical infrastructure. This panel addresses emerging cyber-related risks, how common policy forms respond to them (or not), and potential coverage gaps and traps.

12:00 – 12:05 pm
Closing Remarks


Fellows, Early Bird (up to and including April 12): $575
Fellows, Early Bird (April 13 and after): $625
Guests (spouses, significant others, family): $250 (includes all meal functions)

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received prior to 5:00pm ET on Friday, April 26 will be refunded, less a 25% processing fee. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after this deadline.

Click here to register
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